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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: Hi. My name's Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And I'm Robbie Carman. Rich Harrington: Rob, this week we're going to tackle a subject that's really difficult for a lot of folks, and that's backlighting. We're a bit backlit right now. We have a relatively brighter backdrop behind us. And if we didn't put lights in front of us, we'd be dark, right? Robbie Carman: Yeah, and unless you're going for that silhouette-type look, you're going to want to to defeat it. And it can often be challenging because especially if you don't have a lot of additional light and all sorts of stuff. You're stuck in the situation, should I, kind of, expose for the brightness of the background? Should I expose for the brightness of the foreground? And you're going to find yourself in a situation when you do one or the other, it doesn't look quite right, right? If you expose for the background, we're going to be dark.
If you expose for us, the background's going to be blown out. So it can be a little tricky, for sure. Rich Harrington: And I find that this is particularly a problem when you shoot with things like windows in the shot. Robbie Carman: Yeah. Rich Harrington: Or you're indoors looking out a doorway. What's going to happen is you're faced with, do I expose for the indoors or the outdoors? And to the human eye, your eye could handle this. We've got really good dynamic range, you know. Robbie Carman: Yeah. Rich Harrington: A pair of eyeballs cost a lot more. Robbie Carman: Rich Harrington: Than a good DSLR. Robbie Carman: Yeah, I mean, our eyes are the most, you know, auto-white balancing, auto-exposure. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: Camera ever created.
They're the best. Rich Harrington: And what's going to happen is your eyes will see it. But you look through the camera and maybe if you were shooting a raw photo or a raw video, you'd have that flexibility to do it a shadow highlight recovery. But not with most DSLR video. Robbie Carman: No, and especially, you know, with DSLRs, in terms of, doesn't really matter the manufacturer, whether it's Nikon, Canon, Sony, whoever. What's really troubling about it is sort of what you said, sort of there's a relatively limited dynamic range compared to other camera types. You know, higher-end cameras, or you know, raw shooting. But the other thing is the codex too are not particularly nice to how they treat stuff that's kind of overexposed and overblown.
Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: You get a lot of clipping. The detail just goes straight to white. And there's nothing you can recover a lot about that. So yeah, what we're going to do this week, is go out into the field, and we actually have a situation that is setup just to illustrate this problem. We're shooting the artist for the music video we've been working on in this cool environment. He's inside this kind of old barn, old shed. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And we got some windows in the background. But then we got him in front and we ran into a little bit of a problem on how to actually fix that. So out in the field we'll talk about several different ways to sort of treat the windows, treat the subject, how we do fill lights and all that kind of stuff.
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